Mischa Barton Is Touring With ‘Steel Magnolias’ In Ireland

If either a) the recent Lifetime remake of Steel Magnolias failed to sate your need for melodrama and Southern accents, or b) you are a casual theater-goer living in Ireland, you might want to pay attention. Beginning in mid-September (following some previews and publicity in July), Ireland’s Solar Theatre company launched a tour of the stage production of Steel Magnolias, featuring a cast of mostly seasoned veterans of stage and screen, including Anne Charleston (Madge from Neighbours) as Ouiser Boudreaux, Gillian Hanna as Miss Clairee and… Mischa Barton from The O.C. as Shelby. Mischa Barton is Shelby in a stage production of Steel Magnolias in Ireland. If you’ve grown weary of watching The O.C. on Netflix Instant but still want alumni of the show in your regular viewing (and Tate Donovan in Argo will not do it for you) then, well, here you go.

After a successful run in Dublin at The Gaiety Theatre and touring all over the country throughout October, the show’s last two nights are tonight and tomorrow at the Royal Theatre in Castlebar. Watch the promo and a couple of fan-shot clips below, including the pivotal scene in which Shelby announces her pregnancy to M’Lynn (who does not take it well) and, in the trailer, some close-ups of Mischa Barton emoting pretty intensely about her new hairdo. And, if you’re in Ireland, you might wanna get to Castlebar tomorrow. 

Here’s the Trailer for Lifetime’s ‘Steel Magnolias’ Remake

YOU GUYS, IT’S FINALLY HERE! The first trailer for Lifetime’s remake of Steel Magnolias with an African-American cast has hit the internet. As BlackBook‘s singular staff member covering the Black Steel Magnolias beat (it’s a voluntary position), I am pleased as punch to share this with you because it is SO WEIRD.

It starts out with random images of magnolias (clever!) and table settings while somewhat familiar voices repeat famous lines that you’ve heard a million different times coming from the mouths of other people. It is very bizarre! And then we get the first looks at M’Lynn (Queen Latifah), Ouiser (Alfre Woodard), Clairee (Phylicia Rashad), Truvy (Jill Scott), Annelle (Adepero Oduye), and Shelby (Condola Rashad) and an anachronistic reference to Beyoncé, which I assume means that at no point will Jill Scott say the memorable line, "It’s the ’80s. If you can achieve puberty, you can achieve a past." 

Woof, you guys. I mean, I’m still excited and will watch the shit out of this (and, you know, change the channel at Halloween because I CANNOT WATCH SHELBY DIE), but there’s pretty much nothing special about this except that it’s got a bunch of strong black women delivering awkward line readings from a kind of campy movie about Southern ladies with big hair. I just don’t know if I can handle two hours of Queen Latifah looking sad. When I first saw the trailer existed, I was expecting, on the Steel Magnolias stress scale, to jump up to Rhett, Ouiser’s dog (incessent barking, losing hair), but right now I’m more like a Spud (just sittin’ around, doing Spud stuff).

Meanwhile, Viola Davis is sitting at home and LOLing pretty hard about this.

‘Steel Magnolias’ Dream House Currently For Sale

As I’m the resident Steel Magnolias expert here at BlackBook (see previous Steel Magnolias-related news here and here), I couldn’t not bring you the news that one of the houses used as the location in which the Eatentons—Drum, M’Lynn, Shelby, and those two bros—lived and hosted the greatest (and pinkest) wedding reception known to man is currently up for sale.

AV Club reports that the house is currently listed for a cool $1.175 million dollars, which is a whole lot of silk bunting in the hues of blush and bashful. 

The house—which has served as a not-so-subtly Steel Magnolias-themed bed and breakfast in recent years—was built in 1830 and sits along the Cane River in Natchitoches, Louisiana. It’s 6,000 square feet and has six bedrooms and six-and-a-half baths, including the very pink one in which Julia Roberts’ Shelby is seen relaxing.

Interior-wise, the owners of the house have stayed faithful to the 1989 movie almost to a fault. Nearly everything seen in the movie remains, from its weird, ’70s-style light fixture in the kitchen to the hideous floral patterns and striped curtains in Shelby’s childhood bedroom.

You can check out the website for the bed and breakfast here. Warning: somewhere on the page is an autoplaying recording of the theme from the film, which will either soothe you or drive you to pull out your hair, depending on your current stress level (on a scale of Truvy Jones to Ouiser Boudreaux, I’m currently operating at a slightly manic Annelle Desoto).

If you’re thinking of coming up with the cash, be advised that I’ve already started on my proposal for a Kickstarter campaign. Give me $100 and I’ll send you a miniature red-velvet armadillo cake. For $1,000, you can come visit me in Shelby’s room and we can watch the movie together—but you’ll have to settle with me leaving as soon as Shelby goes into that coma, because the emotions thereafter are too much to handle.

Cast of Lifetime’s All-Black Remake of ‘Steel Magnolias’ Announced

Back in October we shared the news that Lifetime was planning to remake Steel Magnolias, that classic tear-jerking dramedy about Southern women chattin’ and dyin’ of kidney failure, with an African-American cast. You may remember that I, amateur Hollywood casting director, assembled the perfect cast as a favor to Lifetime and the film’s producers. Clearly they have decided to take a different route, completely disregarding my brilliant choices to play the most important female characters in the history of film. 

According to Deadline, Queen Latifah (from now on referred to as "Queefah") is leading the cast, taking on the role of M’Lynn Eatonton (famously played by Sally Field in the 1989 film). That’s only the tip of the iceberg made up of questionable casting choices!

Produced by Sony Pictures Television, Steel Magnolias chronicles the lives and friendship of six women in Louisiana: ‘M’Lynn’ (Queen Latifah), Ouiser (Alfre Woodard), Clairee (Phylicia Rashad), Truvy (Jill Scott), Annelle (Adepero Oduye) and Shelby (Condola Rashad). Supporting each other through their triumphs and tragedies, they congregate at Truvy’s beauty shop to ponder the mysteries of life and death, husbands and children – and hair and nails – all the important topics that bring women together.

Um, first of all, did you call Viola Davis? I mean, considering she has two Oscar nominations under her belt whereas poor Queefah only has one, it makes sense that Davis would have just played recordings of laughter after listening to the pleading voicemails from the Lifetime reps because she doesn’t have time to LAUGH much less star in a LIFETIME ORIGINAL MOVIE, are you kidding me? So, fine, Viola Davis is out, but Queefah? As M’Lynn? A lady with three children, one of which DIES? No ma’ams, Lifetime. No ma’ams. At the very least, Queefah should be playing Truvy Jones. I mean, she JUST starred in a movie with Dolly Parton, you guys. Think of all the tips La Dolly could pass on to her new protege. 

While they do get a gold star for casting Phylicia Rashad as Clairee per my suggestion, are these people trying to pull a fast one by putting her daughter in the role of Shelby? Granted, my suggestion of double-casting Tia and Tamara Mowry was really just for LOLs, but at least they’d bring in the coveted Sister, Sister audience. I get that Raven-Symone is super busy right now stepping into the starring role of Sister Act: The Musical, thereby coming this much closer to taking over Whoopi Goldberg’s place in this world (speaking of which: You know that Whoopi did not say no to playing Ouiser, and you know that Lifetime forgot to call her), but nepotism? Really? Was Tracie Ellis-Ross too busy?

I supposed I’ll also give a pass on Jill Scott as Truvy, even though I can already imagine the salty tears that Loretta Devine is weeping right now. And I guess Adepero Oduye was supposed to be really great in Pariah, which I forgot to see. Maybe I will "forget" to see Steel Magnolias! (JK, nope, I will probably watch it five times.)

If they pick Terrence Howard to play Drum, I will eat my hat.

Casting Call for Lifetime’s All-Black ‘Steel Magnolias’

Fact: Everyone loves movies in which old Southern women sit around and talk about stuff. That is why Steel Magnolias is on TV at least four times a day. The other reason: it has the best all-star cast of any movie to be described as having an all-star cast. Some might say that Steel Magnolias is sacred ground upon which no man shall build, but Deadline Hollywood reports today that Lifetime is developing a remake of the classic tear-jerker. A great man once said, you’ve gotta have a gimmick, and Lifetime’s bold move involves an all African-American cast. CHECKMATE!

The television remake, penned by Sally Robinson, will be an adaptation of the 1989 film screenplay rather than a new adaptation of the Robert Herring play on which it was based (Herring also wrote the film’s script). The only thing that could make this TV movie a disaster is the wrong cast, which is why we’re willing to do Lifetime a favor and tell them the absolutely correct actresses to put into the roles made famous by the likes of Julia Roberts, Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Olympia Dukakis, Darryl Hannah, and Shirley MacLaine.

First things first: the only woman who could possibly play M’Lynn Eatonton, the glamorous mother of the delicate Shelby, is Viola Davis. Viola Davis is M’Lynn Eatonton. Have you seen her cry? She is a pro, and she pretty much got an Academy Award nomination for crying in Doubt. Sally Field would drown in Viola Davis’s tears.

Phylicia Rashad would make a great Clairee Belcher, adding a touch of Mrs. Huxtable and likely improving upon Olymia Dukakis’s Southern-by-way-of-Brooklyn accent. And Mo’Nique as beauty parlor owner Truvy Jones, obviously. (If she’s busy, call Jackée.) And who is the only person who could step into the shoes of Ouiser Boudreaux? Whoopi Goldberg. Duh. Whoopi. The end.

Rounding out the cast would be Keisha Knight-Pullam as Annelle Dupuy, the daffy beautician. Rudy needs work, you guys! In the role of Shelby, the tragic victim of diabetes and too much love (as well as the reason why one would have to switch channels for roughly fifteen minutes every Saturday afternoon while watching the original film on Oxygen) the likely first choice is Beyoncé, because Beyoncé is always first-choice. But we think Lifetime should just call Tia and Tamera Mowry and call it a day.

You’re welcome, big-time TV execs. You should expect an invoice for our consulting fees within ten business days.